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What's on in Kent in April?

PUBLISHED: 14:27 25 March 2019

Hunt for the Easter Bunnies hidden around the grounds at Chiddingstone Castle

Hunt for the Easter Bunnies hidden around the grounds at Chiddingstone Castle

Archant

Our selection of top events and diary dates for this month in Kent

Theatre

• Abigail’s Party (1 to 6 Apr)

Beverly and husband Laurence are throwing a party for their newlywed neighbours, Tony and Angela. Joining them is highly strung Susan, banished from the party of her teenage daughter, Abigail. Welcome to 1970’s suburbia and its heady mix of cocktails, classic disco and cheese and pineapple sticks.

Tickets: £22 to £34.50. 01322 220000. The Orchard Theatre, Dartford

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• Ian McKellen (2 Apr)

The acting legend Sir Ian McKellen says: “I’m celebrating my 80th birthday by touring a new solo show to theatres I know well and a few that I don’t. The show starts with Gandalf, and will probably end with an invitation to act with me on stage. In-between, there will be [plenty of] anecdotes and acting.”

Tickets: Contact venue. 01303 22860. The Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone

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• Snow White and Rose Red (12 Apr)

A new show from Theatre of Widdershins. Snow White and Rose Red – sisters, twins, best friends – have lived in the forest since they were babes in the wood and have been brought up by their mother to be kind, caring and forest fluent. But when their quiet life is interrupted by a friendly bear, a new chapter begins. Suitable for ages four+.

Tickets: £8, 01580 762334. Smallhythe Place

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• Bing on tour (13, 14 and 19 to 21 Apr)

Calling all Bingsters! Bing and his friends are going on tour in the first-ever live stage show. Join Bing, Sula, Coco and Pando as they learn how to tell stories by pretending, dressing-up and singing songs. Flop and Amma are there to help, but in this magical world of make-believe, things don’t always go according to plan.

Tickets: £17.50 (Churchill Theatre, 13 and 14 Apr); £21 (The Woodville Theatre, 19 to 21 Apr); 020 3285 6000 (Churchill Theatre); 01474 337459 (The Woodville)

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• Captain Blackbeard (21 Apr)

While we may all think the creatures of the deep are purely in sailors’ imaginations, Captain Blackbeard has some very different opinions. Join him and some of his crew as they recount tales of their encounter with a beastly creature and the surprising turn their trip took.

Tickets: Normal admission charges apply. 01862 870307. Penshurst Place and Gardens, nr Tonbridge

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• Autism Arts (27 and 28 Apr)

The festival aims to be both a celebration of autistic creativity and an attempt to develop the idea of a relaxed performance further to create an entire festival that’s as accessible to neurodivergent people as possible. Kicking off the festival is a comedy double bill from Britain’s Got Talent 2018 finalist Robert White and Kate Fox, star of BBC Radio 4’s The Price of Happiness.

Tickets: From £12. www.autismartsfestival.org. The Gulbenkian, Canterbury

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Music

• Royal Philharmonic (3 Apr)

Enjoy Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture and Beethoven’s stirring Symphony No.6, Pastoral when the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra brings its new season, ‘Music and Nature’, to Kent.

Tickets: £22.50 to £34.50. 020 3285 6000. The Churchill Theatre, Bromley

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• Welcome on Stage (6 Apr)

Top-name performers from many of London’s prestigious theatre shows, including Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music and Hairspray, will perform at the glittering debut of The Henry Desmond Orchestra. Thirty professional musicians will be joined by five singers from the world of musical theatre, including Nadim Naaman.

Tickets: £23; £21. 01732 450175. The Stag, Sevenoaks

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• Musicality Take 2 (10 to 13 Apr)

Bringing to life the music from film straight to the stage, Musicality Take 2 features numbers from Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables to new films such as Bohemian Rhapsody and The Greatest Showman.

Tickets: £15; £13 (concs). 01732 304241. EM Forster Theatre, Tonbridge School, Tonbridge

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• Jackson Live (14 Apr)

CJ and his talented band capture the electrifying energy of Michael Jackson’s live performances.

Tickets: £29. 01322 220000. The Orchard Theatre, Dartford

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• Rocky Horror (15 to 20 Apr)

This musical extravaganza, which tells the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet, two squeaky clean college kids who meet Dr Frank’n’Furter when their car breaks down outside his house, will star Stephen Webb as Frank.

Tickets: £20. 020 3285 8262. The Churchill Theatre, Bromley

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• Junk Orchestra (19 to 22 Apr)

The Junk Orchestra uses a super-sonic recycled collection of objects to create fun, fab music for the whole family to enjoy.

Tickets: £14.50 to £74. 01622 765400. Leeds Castle, Maidstone

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• Favourite Music (27 Apr)

Enjoy an evening of some of the nation’s favourite compositions at a concert featuring the Heart of Kent Orchestra conducted by Adrian Goss, with pianists Simon Proctor and Oliver Poole. Expect music from Star Wars, Ride of the Valkyries and Moonlight Sonata.

Tickets: £15 (adult); £10 (child). 01622 790195. Invicta Grammar School for Girls, Maidstone

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• Sounds Of The 60s (27 Apr)

BBC Radio 2’s popular series takes to the road with a new live show hosted by DJ Tony Blackburn. Featuring songs, stories and memories from the golden decade of pop music.

Tickets: £32.50. 01322 220000. The Orchard Theatre, Dartford

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Out and about

• Smallhythe Place (from 3 Apr)

Celebrate the 90th anniversary of the creation of the museum and the 80th anniversary of it being bequeathed to the National Trust.

Tickets: Normal admission. 01580 762334. Smallhythe Place

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• Sea Monsters (6 Apr)

Help fight monsters encountered in a cross-seas adventure. Join Hands on History for a day of mini-crossbows, hitting as many sea-monster targets as you can. You’ll also experience a real-life ship’s cannon being fired.

Tickets: Normal admission. 01862 870307. Penshurst Place and Gardens

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• Kent’s Big Weekend (6 and 7 Apr)

More than 130 attractions and venues have signed up for this year’s extravaganza when, for one weekend, Kent residents get the chance to discover and rediscover the amazing things to see and do in their home county. Let’s celebrate the best of Kent!

Tickets: Free. www.kentbigweekend.co.uk

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• The Inky Sea (6-22 Apr)

Across the centuries, beastly sea creatures and fascinating fish dominate sailing tales; this Easter, walk through the gardens and discover these mythical creatures for yourselves! Then let your imagination run wild in the Craft Barn, as you create your own under-the-sea monsters.

Tickets: Normal admission. 01862 870307. Penshurst Place and Gardens

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• Spring Week (8 to 12 Apr)

Enjoy activites including a treasure hunt, children’s crafts and garden games. Lorna Wryill of Onodrim Woods and Debbie Reynolds from the Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership will share eco-art and outdoor fun.

Tickets: From £4. 01233 643854. Godinton House and Gardens, Ashford

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• Make a wreath (18 Apr)

Get creative with Anna from Anna’s Country Flowers. Included in the ticket price are all the materials and instruction needed to create a spring wreath to take home. Enjoy the refreshments and experience the exclusive use of the showroom as your studio.

Tickets: £49, 01227 209300. Neptune, Canterbury

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• Vintage Market (27 Apr)

Shabby chic furniture, kitchenalia, gardenalia, vintage clothes, books, jewellery, hand-made gifts, floristry, antiques, designer beers, cakes and more.

Tickets: £1. www.vintagecraftmarket.com. The Causeway Hall, Chiddingstone Causeway

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• Sponsored Cycle (28 Apr)

Cycle 25 or 50 miles to raise money for the Heart of Kent Hospice. Run by the Friends of Five Acre Wood School in partnership with the Local Charity Partners of Kent Sainsbury’s stores, the start is from Sainsbury’s on Loose Road. The supermarket giant will provide refreshments en route.

Tickets: £15 (per cyclist). www.hokh.org. Five Acre Wood School, Maidstone

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• Antique Fair (28 Apr)

Hosted by Claire O’Neil in memory of George Paterson, her grandfather and local silver antique dealer, there will be more than 40 stalls offering silver, maps, books, china, paintings, postcards and more. All proceeds will go to Hospice in the Weald.

Tickets: £1, 07866 598641. Skinners School, Tun Wells

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